Finding a great match between employer and employee is part art, part science and, for some, more than a little bit of luck. At Executive Recruiting Consultants, we work to minimize the luck factor by taking the time to get to know—really know—both our candidates and the prospective employers we work with.
The result is a better fit for our candidates and a more productive employee for our clients. As part of that process, we work hard to stay in touch with changes in the marketplace and in the expectations of both candidates and employers. We asked our account executives about some of the recent trends they have observed. Here are their answers.
Q: In terms of filling positions, what are the basic expectations of today’s employer as they’re looking for the right candidate?
Ty Nixon: When filling open roles, companies want to have a seamless transition from the last person that was in that role. They want the candidate that will require the least amount of training, be able to perform the job best and be a good fit with the team that they currently have in place.
Steve Green: Even though some of the skill sets they are looking for are difficult to find, employers still keep the standards pretty high when it comes to their expectations. They usually look for education and experience that matches the position they are trying to fill. There may be some areas in which the candidate is lighter in terms of experience, but as long as the majority of their must-haves are filled, they will consider that candidate. Another big factor is chemistry. Many companies are realizing the importance of how well potential employees fit the company culture.
Q: In terms of finding a job, what are the basic expectations of today’s job-seeker?
Travis Peper: Today’s job seekers are looking for positions that provide a challenge. Most job seekers today are interested in finding a role that will not only grow their career, but will also allow them to use their experience and education. The bottom line is that most job seekers today do not want to go into a role, or an organization, in which they are bored.
Ty Nixon: I have found that the most basic expectation, or requirement, is location. It could be their dream job, but if it isn’t the right location, they won’t even consider it. After that, I would say they are looking for improvements from the last role they were in, with work/life balance, good benefits, a promotion in title and a pay raise all potential considerations.
Steve Green: Today’s job seekers are changing. Many believe their basic skill sets will get them in the door. This isn’t always the case, as many employers want to make sure the training they have has been utilized in the work setting. My best advice for engineers, engineer techs, industrial maintenance techs and other technically trained people—do not miss an opportunity to pick up internship hours, coop hours or other chances to exercise the skills you are being taught. That will carry a lot of weight on your resume.
Q: What are employers looking for in today’s candidates? Beyond whether they are qualified for a position, it seems more attention is being placed on the relationship they think they can establish with you as part of the team.
Travis Peper: I do believe that employers are looking for candidates that are not only qualified for a position, but also meet some of the following criteria. 1. Strong work history. 2. Ability to be a team player. 3. Some type of connection to the community or area. 4. A desire to grow their career within an organization.
Steve Green: Chemistry and culture has become a big part of the selection process. We are seeing much longer on-site interviews with more people involved. This can be intimidating to candidates at times, but the company wants to observe the interaction between the candidate and the potential new team the candidate will have to work with. There may be several panels of interviewers, which may include supervisors as well as subordinates or equals. I always share with the candidates that this can work to their advantage. Once they finish these panels’ interviews or discussions, they will have a very good feeling about whether this is a good place to work.
Q: When Baby Boomers entered the workforce, the internet was not a major resource. How do you see candidates’ means for finding their next position shifting, and how does this impact the role of the recruiter?
Travis Peper: Candidates find their next role in a variety of different areas—most of which are related to the internet. Often the entire application process takes place electronically. As a recruiter, I don’t think our role has changed. It’s our job to find quality people for the roles that companies hire us to fill. Most of the time, the candidates we bring to our clients would not be applying or even looking to make a change. We generally work with people who are happy and doing well, but also have an open mind to what may be out there for them. If companies rely only on the internet for candidates, they will be missing out on the candidates that usually are the most qualified.
Steve Green: It’s not about picking up the want ads any more, that’s for sure. With electronic job boards and other job-sourcing avenues, it would appear to be a candidate’s dream. I think we are going to see the opposite occur. The job boards become so saturated that sometimes highly skilled and specialized candidates are unable to refine a search to the point that it will deliver the results they are looking for. They don’t have time to wade through an excessive number of jobs, just as hiring managers don’t have time to wade through piles of resumes from unqualified candidates. Candidates already see the importance of what we do because we have so many tools at our fingertips. Many hiring managers and companies see our value as well, and I think they will see the difference even more clearly as time goes on.